|I mentioned copying earlier. This is the classic thing you soon discover once your child learns to talk. They start spouting things you say word for word, with even the emphasis in the same places. It can be quite a shock to hear yourself as your child hears you! If we can show our children how to recover from setbacks by recovering from setbacks ourselves, this is how they will gain resilience. If you drop your dinner on the floor how do you deal with it? Do you say things like “Why does this always happen to me?” Don’t forget who is watching. What message do you want them to take away? That bad things always happen? This isn’t about pretending that everything is rosy and wonderful the whole time, it’s about showing your child how you cope when things go wrong. So show your child (age-appropriate) negative emotions. Let them see you be cross or sad, but let them also see how you recover and move on.
If your child sees you expressing emotions in appropriate ways they will follow.
Another important aspect of resilience is building a positive outlook, and a growth mindset. There is an article here from Dr Hazel Harrison about growth mindsets and gratitude: https://www.heysigmund.com/5-simple-ways-build-resilience-well-children-dr-hazel-harrison/ Encouraging your child to be optimistic is a good way to increase that ability to bounce back. If you have a pessimistic outlook on life, and everything always goes wrong for you and never gets any better, how can you possibly expect to feel better? Again, this is another reason for modelling good behaviour I’m afraid!
Lastly, another excellent way to build resilience in children is to teach them how to become problem solvers. Learning how to find out answers for themselves, and how to break a problem down into manageable parts is a great life skill. Let them see you do this. Talk about problems that need solving with them – ask them for their ideas, you might be surprised what they come up with! Play games that promote problem solving, like puzzles, treasure hunts, or challenges. Don’t always jump in and solve everything for your child. If it hasn’t come to blows, let them work out with another child who gets to play with the toy that they both want. If children feel they have the ability to solve problems that life throws at them, not only does it give them a feeling of control over their life, it also will help them to see setbacks as challenges that can be overcome, rather than the end of the world.